Starting life in Knella Road

Everybody in WGC cycled

Knella Road c1938

This memory was donated to the Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust by Joyce F who was born in WGC in 1927. 

The extracts below and the audio clip all come from her transcripted interview. Her parents came to WGC from Lincolnshire via Letchworth.

 “…living in Knella Road – I was born in No.58 which no longer exists. That has been knocked down and rebuilt and No.181 we moved to because as my father worked on the building. I rather think he picked the one he would like because the No.181 one I know he had because of the allotment – running on from the back. We had masses of veg – it was all stored in a brick shed which was built on and I helped my father re-sort the potatoes and resort the carrots and onions.

…He ran a pig club through the War but that meant we got extra food and on top of that he had chickens and so we ate the chickens ultimately and got the eggs and they were put into a pippin (water glass) to preserve. My mother was a very good cook and she stretched all these things miles during the War.

The road came to an end and I was No.181 and that was more or less the last bit and there was a field which they farmed every year and the most exciting thing that happened each year was when they came with massive cutters and the team of people to size it and stack it- and that was all taking place right next to me and there was a nice bit of woodland with a path going right through and I played in there for hours – I used to tear all my clothes – because I was up the trees.”

“I went to Ludwick, Peartree and Handside School. For me the thing that is noted about that is that two Miss Sing’s were very famous – one was the headmistress at Ludwick and one was the headmistress at Peartree. These two ladies and they were so straight laced and I used to spend a lot of my time just gazing at them. Looking at the way they were dressed – they had a bun – very severe.

…but in my education I did modern embroidery which is now considered the very ‘in thing’ and that is what we did at school – they were definitely good people and forward thinking and so when I went to Handside I was cycling everywhere  – everybody in WGC cycled – the vast majority of people cycled – virtually no cars around – there was one eventually but we didn’t speak to them because they were definitely up-market!

Handside is still there, that facade is lovely. I used to go through the lovely front door which they have got rid of. I used to love that… Then of course the War started and everything went AWOL and the education was cut remember and we finished up – first of all there was nothing at all – schools were closed.

…I remember well because my mother was so upset about my education because it simply went out of the window and we only got half days – once they got it established we only got half a day so I remember the tail-end of my education just fizzled away and I left school at 14 to go to Cresta Silks which they organised for me because they knew there was one thing I came top of in my report was sewing.”

This page was added on 19/06/2011.

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